You have just had your beautiful new baby and were all set to start the wonderful process of motherhood that you have been dreaming about your whole life. Now you find yourself thinking “Why do I feel so terrible?” The movies tend to skip over the delivery, which very well may be “the trauma of your life.” Then, someone hands you a colicky newborn who doesn’t sleep and shoos you off into the world.
What many new moms do not expect is to feel depressed, anxious, and irritable after the baby comes home. therapy for postpartum depression can help.
It is considered normal to experience some sadness and anxiety with the birth of a new child. Most people know this as the baby blues. The baby blues occurs usually about 2 to 3 days after childbirth and should not last longer than one to two weeks.
Baby blues or postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is different than the baby blues. PPD is the development of intense feelings of sadness that do not feel normal or begin to interfere with your ability to perform everyday tasks and care for yourself and your baby.
There are many signs and symptoms of PPD and you may have some or all symptoms.
You may feel a lack of closeness or connection with your baby that can be very disconcerting since it is not what “you are supposed to feel about your baby” or what you see “all the other moms” expressing on Facebook. You may feel guilty that you are having difficulty bonding with your baby and find yourself thinking the forbidden thought “I wish I hadn’t had him.” It’s possible that you feel that other mothers are doing so much better and can handle things so much better than you. Lack of sleep or having a difficult/colicky baby can make these symptoms and feelings much, much worse.
Here are some warning signs you may be struggling with PPD
- Crying a lot, depressive feelings
- Feeling guilt over your feelings toward your baby
- Changes in your relationship with your partner
- Resenting your baby “for ruining your life”
- Lack of sleep
- Feeling like you can’t cope
- Feeling like you can’t care for your other children
- Appetite problems
- Poor concentration
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Excessive worry
- Thoughts of wanting to escape
Many mothers with PPD do not want to admit their feelings and they may resist going to their doctor or seeking help from a therapist. Research has shown that therapy can help. It is important to understand PPD is not an all or nothing phenomenon and exists on a continuum; the severity of the illness should determine the course of treatment. In general, the treatment may begin with therapy and can progress to pharmacotherapy if needed. Studies have shown that if medication is needed, best results are found if mothers include therapy as well.
Reach out for help today
If you are struggling with feelings of sadness and anxiety after the birth of your baby, we can help. Fill out our contact form and click Send.
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